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Bishop Brute Consecrated…

On this feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, in the newly built and consecrated Cathedral located near the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, Simon Brut� was consecrated as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes.

Brut� had left his mountain home in Emmitsburg, Maryland on the 15th of September. He and his companion, the Rev. Hitzelberger of the Baltimore Archdiocese, traveled to Cincinnati where they met up with Bishop Purcell. They continued on to Louisville, and from there, they were joined by Nicholas Petit S.J. who was a faculty member at St. Mary’s College in Kentucky.

The group then went on to St. Louis and it was there that the consecration took place on October 28th, which was a Tuesday in 1834. The consecration, which we now simply call an episcopal ordination, was celebrated by Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget of Bardstown, assisted by Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis and Bishop John Baptist Purcell of Cincinnati.

On the following day, Bishop Brut� issued his first pastoral letter. He said:

SIMON GABRIEL, by the Grace of God and the appointment of the Holy See, Bishop of Vincennes.
To all the faithful of our Diocese, grace be unto you from God the Father, and peace of our Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ. Beloved Brethren —
Divine Providence sends me among you as the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Vincennes, throught the unanimous call of the Bishops, assembled in council in Baltimore, last year, and the appointment of the common Father of the Faithful, Gregory XVI, the Vicar of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on earth, as expressed in his Bull of the 6th of May last.
Unworthy as I am of so great an honor, and myself unequal to the charge, my only trust is in God, and therefore earnestly calling for your prayers, that I may obtain His divine assistance, I come to be your chief pastor.
…We place our Cathedral under the special protection of Saint Francis Xavier, the whole diocese under that of the glorious Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary… Beloved brethren, we are children of the saints…
Given at St. Louis the day after our consecration, 29, 10th month, 1834.
+ Simon, Bishop of Vincennes


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